Welcome to the latest edition of carefully curated alcohol policy news, the latest scientific highlights, and brand-new stories about the predatory practices of the alcohol industry.
This week’s special feature reports on the alcohol policy milestone decision in the WHO European Region where the WHO Europe Regional Committee Meeting adopted a historic Framework for Action on Alcohol.
We also share three upcoming event alerts.

Alcohol Issues Newsletter September 12 – September 16, 2022

This week’s Alcohol Issues highlights

  • Dramatic Rise in Alcohol Deaths in United States Directs Focus on Decades-Long Alcohol Policy Failures.
  • Loneliness, Alcohol, and other Drug Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • How Big Alcohol Resists Efforts to Regulate Them.

This week’s most popular stories

  • ADIC and YAN Sri Lanka Campaign to Increase Alcohol, Tobacco Taxes.
  • New FASD Report: How to Better Help Children Affected by Prenatal Alcohol Exposure.
  • The Devastating Impact of Alcohol in Oregon, United States.

Special Feature – No. 31

Alcohol Policy Milestone in the WHO European Region

WHO Europe Regional Committee Meeting Adopts Historic Framework for Action on Alcohol

The 72nd Regional Committee Meeting of the World Health Organization in Europe (WHO Europe) has adopted a historic decision for the European response to the harm caused by the alcohol industry. RC72 adopted the WHO Framework for Action on Alcohol unanimously. In doing so all 51 WHO Europe Member States endorse a comprehensive plan with ambitious targets and a clear focus on the most evidence-based alcohol policy solutions to accelerate action on alcohol as public health priority across Europe.

The new European Framework for Action on Alcohol contains six focus areas that foster for high-impact action and facilitate country-specific adaption.

Also the background document to the Framework is a milestone for the European response to alcohol harm.

All documentation can also be accessed via the interactive program: European framework for action on alcohol 2022–2025, Documents EUR/RC72/12EUR/RC72/CONF./10EUR/RC72/CONF./10 Add.1EUR/RC72/BG/4EUR/RC72/BG/14.

Movendi International has partnered with WHO Europe Member States and civil society organizations to make alcohol policy the priority it should be, to bring alcohol policy back on the agenda of WHO Europe’s governing bodies in order to improve the response to alcohol harm at all levels.

Five recommendations for the way forward

The plan contains proven elements with significant potential for the way forward. That is why we in Movendi International make five recommendations for the way forward:

  1. Adequately resource full implementation of the Framework, including at community level,
  2. Facilitate regular review of progress at the Regional Committee,
  3. Ensure effective mainstreaming of alcohol policy considerations in all relevant policy areas in health and beyond,
  4. Develop guidance to protect alcohol policy from industry interference, and
  5. Strengthen the governance of alcohol policy at regional level.

Movendi International advocacy for the adoption of the Framework

Movendi International participated in the panel of the dedicated session on the Framework and delivered a 2-minutes statement, represented by Laura Plesnar, Regional Director for Europe, International Federation of Medical Students’ Association (IFMSA), a close partner of Movendi International.

Movendi International, through its Official Relationship Status with the WHO, will address the WHO EURO RC72 through two statements.

Statement agenda item 10

Laura Plesnar (IFMSA), on behalf of Movendi International, participated in the panel of the dedicated session on the Framework, and delivered a 2-minutes statement.

Joint statement on agenda item 10

Movendi International developed a joint statement, together with 15 other civil society partner organizations. The joint statement could not be delivered due to time constraints.

Advocacy priorities, key messages, and background information to take action for the adoption of the new alcohol policy framework at WHO EURO RC72

Movendi International was represented at WHO EURO RC72 and engaging through bilateral and coalition-driven advocacy.

Director of Strategy and Advocacy Maik Dünnbier had the chance to speak with WHO Europe Regional Director Hans Kluge to congratulate him for the leadership and commitment to ambitious, evidence-based action on alcohol.

Maik Dünnbier and Dr Hans Kluge

Movendi International and our members across the European region are ready to partner with governments and WHO EURO to help advance evidence-based, high-impact alcohol policy solutions, especially alcohol taxation and the other best buys.

Why alcohol policy action matters in the European region

  1. Out of 51 countries in the WHO European Region, only 16 reached the target of a 10% reduction of overall alcohol consumption between 2010-19. But 17 countries saw increases in alcohol use.
    1. Almost no progress was achieved since 2016 in the implementation of Best Buys alcohol policy solutions.
  2. Alcohol pricing policies remain the lowest priority in the region, even though they are the single most cost-effective measure.
    1. A recent landmark study found that introducing a minimum alcohol tax share of 15% for all alcoholic product types according to their alcohol content can prevent 132,906 deaths.
  3. Alcohol is the largest risk factor for disease burden in the group 25-49 years.

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